• Expert Q&A: Rare dementias - Tues 3 March, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of rare dementias. It will be hosted by Nikki and Seb from Rare Dementia Support. If you have any questions about rare dementias, they will be here to answer them on Tuesday 3 March between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Feeling bitter...

Tired_MariaUK

Registered User
May 5, 2008
18
England
Just recently I have started feeling really bitter. And I also feel very guilty about it. I've given up a very professional job to look after my MIL full time. She is becoming impossible to deal with. Our life has been put on hold and sometimes this feels like a life sentence. I guess I mostly feel this way because I'm the daughter-in-law. She's not my mother and my mother passed away a year and a half ago and I'm still dealing with the grief from that. I sound so selfish...but isn't this just the natural process of trying to accept this responsibility. I'm also trying to accept that it's the disease making life difficult, not my MIL. She wouldn't wish this on anyone. What a cruel disease this is. :( Please tell me that there are others who feel the same way.
 

Lynne

Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
3,433
Suffolk,England
Please tell me that there are others who feel the same way.
Oh boy Maria, DO I !!!
For very similar reasons (and they are REASONABLE reasons for goodness sake) except in my case it is my own Mum I look after.
But bitter, resentful, frustrated, angry (oh, SO angry) savage and 101 other despicable emotions I hoped I would never feel; and MY Mum isn't even particularly difficult. But neither is this confused sad person my Mum - just a hollow little shell who looks something like her.
 

helen.tomlinson

Registered User
Mar 27, 2008
541
Hi Maria

I've given up a very professional job to look after my MIL full time
Wow this is a very unselfish thing to do. I imagine you must have given a lot of thought and consideration before coming to such a big decision. It can be a long and lonely road and a role where the one cared for often can't show appreciation for all that you are doing. You say that you feel bitter and I can only suggest that this might be, like you say, an adjustment to the situation and the illness. Do you talk to your husband about how you are feeling?

If the bitterness persists, you might benefit from talking it through with someone.

Love and best wishes

Helen
 

Tired_MariaUK

Registered User
May 5, 2008
18
England
I'm so glad to find there are others who feel the same. I don't want the bitterness to continue. I've watched bitterness eat up other people like a disease. Today MIL is acting very selfish. She was very upset that her son, my husband went out for an hour. He needs the break and we give each other breaks. But, everything is suppose to centre around her. I'm hoping this is just a stage of adjusting. I need to get to the point where I accept that all these horrible attitudes are coming from the disease and not the person.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,406
Kent
Hello Maria,
It is not difficult to accept these mood swings come from the disease and not the person. There are enough examples on TP to convince even the biggest sceptic.
What is very difficult, almost impossible, is not to take these episodes personally.
I can only suggest when these episodes happen you leave the room or even leave the house, and ignore your MIL until she calms down.
It has worked to a certain extent for me, but you need to be firm.
 

helen.tomlinson

Registered User
Mar 27, 2008
541
Hi Maria

One of the things I've been thinking about is that all people suffering from a dementia weren't Angels pre-illness. Some people would have been self-centred, angry, bullying, generally unpleasant, unloving, etc. etc. If your m.i.l. was selfish before the illness and wanted everything centred around her then it might not be the illness that's causing it now. If there has been a change in her personality/behaviour then it could be easier to put it down to the illness.

My daughter says Alan (my husband) is softer now that he has a dementia, she finds him a lot easier to be with.

Love Helen
 

LIZ50

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
56
Hampshire
Oh Maria!
I know exactly where you're coming from as I too have given up a managerial job except in my case it's for my own mum and that's hard enough even though I love her to bits. I think you're wonderful doing it for your MIL as it must be SO much harder because I know how hard my partner finds it with mum living with us although he is wonderfully supportive. In fact, I really don't think I could have coped without his love and help.
Both of us feel that our lives are on hold too and we've both missed out on our 50th birthday treats as we promised to treat each other to an American holiday but there was no way I could go away and leave mum (just in case anything happened as she also has cancer). Because of the cancer I try hard to treasure every day with mum but when she is having a bad day and being nasty to me I really find it hard and I have to walk away from her and then, yes, I feel bitter, resentful, hard done by and think what have I done to deserve this but then again what has mum ever done for life to be so cruel to her?
I do hope you can talk to your husband as a problem shared is a problem halved and I do hope there will be some better days ahead for you. Thinking of you.
Love Liz x